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NBC's Biggest Loser - Real/Unrealistic

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default NBC's Biggest Loser - Real/Unrealistic

Hello to everyone out there. I was having a discussion with a friend who is also calorie counting and she start talking about the Biggest Loser. She was saying that she loves the show and it motivates her to stick to her plan but that it is misleading sometimes. When people lose over 10 pounds a week she says it made her think that she could lose a huge amount of weight like they were doing and reduce her body size in half in 3 months, but when you find out they are eating 1200 calories per day and exercising 8 hours a day the results should be like that with such a high calorie deficit and the fact that they are staying at a ranch. She was even more disappointed to have found out that several contestants have gain the weight back or a good amount of it back. I live in Europe so I have only seen a few episodes of the show which are like from season 2. I suggested that she join a support group like this one and she can see some of the biggest losers here and where we lose weight at a normal pace so that it will stay off.

I do remember a guy on season 3 who lost like 15 pounds in 1 week,is that healthy? I got a nervous when I lose 4 pounds for 3 weeks in a row.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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I love that show also, but always have to remember that the results are not typical. They do exercise 8 hours a day and are limited to what they can eat. I will be watching it tonight though..

Some of the people do gain the weight back too. I think they get to the ranch and work out all day and eat little and then they are put back into the real world and fail.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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I love the show too! It is dangerous for your friend to try and lose a lot of weight in one week on her own. There are doctors standing by on the ranch with those contestants. I too wanted to lose it fast like they did.

It's just not worth the risk!
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:45 PM   #4
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Totally unrealistic! if only.....but most of us can't and wouldn't exercise 8 hours a day. And I read an article written by one of the contestants that said that on weigh in day she would give herself an enema to lose more weight. And they are supervised by doctors.

Invite your friend to come join us here and see how "real' people struggle with the weight loss and support each other. and lose! And get healthier!
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:58 PM   #5
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I Totally LOVE the show. Though I only just found out about it the last season, so this is only my 2nd season of watching it....It comes on in a few minutes.

What I don't like about it is that the focus is mostly on exercise and little on food. Food should be the main focus IMO. I mean, what if you are in a car wreck and break both of your legs and can't exercise...will you know how to modify your diet to accomodate for that?
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:04 PM   #6
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I love the show - but no it's not realistic. I think the timeframes are manipulated - a week might not really be a week. And I don't work out 8 hours a day with a personal trainer on my case the whole time.

A healthy focus on weight loss should include building habits that you will keep for a lifetime. Which flys in the face of losing it as quicky as possible for a cash prize. A lot of people gain weight back - the majority, in fact. For me - maintaining the loss has been because of the healthy habits I built while I was losing.

And I will stop saying the same thing over and over again...starting...now!
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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That's really unhealthy in my opinion. You have to keep in mind that they're producing a TV show that will get better rating with bigger weight loss results. Its pretty unrealistic though. And doesn't have the contestants' best interests in mind.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:27 AM   #8
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This show is ENTERTAINMENT, first and foremost. Yes, the people lose weight. But it's not always one week to the next, like they make it sound, and many of the former contestants and winners have regained. The show does not spend any time on maintenance. It is an artificial situation from the beginning and all the way through.

A more realistic show is National Body Challenge on Discovery Health. No bells and whistles, and the people mostly lose their weight at home. The show documents what it's really like to be struggling with weight. The contestants don't always do so well, and their losses are much more realistic.

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Old 01-28-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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I think I am the only one in America who does not watch BL.
I don't like weight loss competitions, and even though the stories can be inspiring - it's just so unrealistic.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:02 PM   #10
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I always think its a bit silly to look at something like TBL and talk about whether it is "realistic" for the rest of the population.

They have no responsibilities other than weight loss. They have trainers, medical staff, and nutritionists available...every day! They have the time and the drive (and lots of monetary motivation) to exercise for 6-8 hours a day, most of it straight up cardio. They have only really healthy food available to them except for artificially placed "temptations". They eat, sleep, and do cardio, with a few hours a week of strength training thrown in. They are burning calories All. Day. Long.

If one was in that situation, one could lose weight like they do...it is realistic to say that if you are burning 6,000-7,000 calories PER DAY and eating 1,200, you could lose 10 lbs in a week. But most of us have jobs (they don't), families to take care of (they are separated), and more varied foods available to us. We cannot put ourselves into that same environment, and therefore cannot acheive results so quickly.

To me, it is still inspiring to see people who believed that they "couldn't" push themselves in extreme ways to meet goals. Like a 3FC success story, but compressed for TV. And I know a lot of folks, here and in the rest of my life, that have taken TBL and used it as inspiration to go about this the way that is reasonable for them.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #11
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Wow did one contestant take an enema, now I must say that is very unhealthy and I'm even more disappointed that they would allow it..

I agree with you all, it isn't realistic and they are focus on exercise and not eating. What's the point of having them lose all the weight and focusing on exercise and not teaching them life long habits. Most of us are overweight because we had bad eating habits and I'll be the first to say that I never really learned out to eat properly until now. if they are pushing the contestants to lose weight for ratings that is twice as worse. They should be teaching them life long eating habits when they can't exercises for 6 and 8 hours a day..
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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FWIW, they DO teach them those things. But those don't make good TV, so they only show the "product plug" food stuff, not the actual lessons. But they are getting constant education on nutrition and healthy eating and how to cook properly...you can sort of see that coming through in some of the challenges, where they have to guess the calorie counts of things and etc. But a nutrition discussion is not nearly as interesting for the public to watch as the contestants being pushed hard on the equipment.

The trainers also aren't there for the majority of the contestants workouts. They are there for the strength-training portion (the part that is shown) and very little cardio a week (just enough to get footage). The rest of the time, those contestants are just slogging it away at a moderate pace on the cardio.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:29 PM   #13
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I too enjoy TBL and watch it weekly. It has changed some over the years, and seems more geared towards rating that it used to be. I know a lot of it is for 'shock and awe' effect, but it does help motivate me as far as exercising. I have gotten some ideas for strength training from watching the show. Anyway, it is TV, so we have to take that for what it is worth.

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Old 01-28-2009, 08:50 PM   #14
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I agree with most everything that has been said. It's a show and the science behind what they are doing (counting calories and working out) is correct and the right way. The rest of it becomes the show. When you have nothing to worry about but eating right and working out all day, then you too could lose more than 2 pounds in a week (a week on the show isn't always a week in reality as was pointed out already).
The show IS a motivator for a lot of us working to change our lives and I think that's what is important. As long as people realize that the results are "reality show" based, you are okay.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:05 PM   #15
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I've never seen the show (although people always assume I love it, which irks me to no end and is another story) - but I know of people who are inspired by it and I think that's great. It's great that it inspires people, makes them think twice, it's great that a formerly taboo subject is prime time.

Maybe if I sat down for an episode I'd change my mind. I dunno. ??

I've never talked with someone yet who fools themselves into thinking those results are achievable in real life.
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